The social networking giant has become part of everyday life for many of its 800 million registered users, a great way to find to connect with friends, old and new, and keep up to date with everyone in your life. Over half of these users log in every day and spend more time on Facebook per day than Google and Youtube combined.
So it is more than understandable that most businesses would like to use Facebook as a way of advertising their products and services, that is, after all, a sizeable audience! Used in the right way, it can be an extremely efficient marketing tool, keeping you in touch with consumer opinion and trends on a daily basis even while you are out and about with your mobile.
However, many businesses are put off by the perceived ineffectiveness of ads versus their high cost. But there are a number of tools available within Facebook which, used properly, can really boost a company’s bank balance without putting a dent in it.
Facebook for Business Tips
How to mix business with pleasureMany give up at the first hurdle when there is no need. The user’s personal profile is set up by Facebook to have the capability to keep business use completely separate but still use the same log in. There is no need for a new profile. When the user interacts with the business applications it shows up as admin and not personal activity. There is no connection between the user and their business page.
SetupArmed with this knowledge it’s time to set up a page. Facebook Pages is the place where the user can present all the relevant information regarding their business, just like their personal profile only business orientated. You can invite your personal friends and anyone else to ‘like’ your page, and once people do, they will receive every update, modification and post you add. Unlike a personal profile, the page has the capability to contact all of your followers simultaneously, a very useful feature.
A follower of trendsFollowers are free to post their views and thoughts on your page, helping to garner thought and opinion, keeping a very honest and human element through their feedback. To set up a page is free and the users page can be fully customised through a wide range of business apps available. Promotional videos and pictures can be posted, links to other websites can be added along with a company logo and the option to buy products and services directly from the page.
EventsOnce your page is up and running a number of other options are available. Facebook Events offers an excellent way of promoting a future event, launch or release. You can invite your followers to attend and your invitation can, again, contain photos, videos or any other promotional material to tempt them into attendance. Followers can respond to their invite with ‘accept’, ‘maybe’ or ‘decline’ and are free to further promote the event by writing on the invitations wall or sharing with their friends. This is another great way of gaining more followers and, in turn, increasing your business’ audience.
Take noteFacebook Notes acts like a blogging service and allows the user to post updates as a ‘note’. The notes can be added to the user’s page or personal profile, again a good way to lure in more followers. These notes can also be uploaded to, and read in RSS feeds in the traditional manner.
Targeted adsFacebook Ads gives the option to create an advertisement in a very similar manner to the Adwords content. The user is charged for every lead gained after an interested party clicks on your ad link. It is worth kickstarting your Facebook business endeavours with a number of well targeted adverts focussed on a certain group or type of person. The user can fully customise their ad by choosing exactly who will see it by selecting certain parameters such as age, sex, location and interests.
Browse the competitionFacebook as a whole can also be used very effectively as a market research tool. Browse various pages and groups who are in a similar line of business and see what they are, and are not, doing. The user is free to promote to followers of other pages of a similar ilk, and is a great way to widen your audience yet further.
How are you doing?Feedback statistics are available every time the user logs in, giving a detailed breakdown of exactly who is looking at what, and when, enabling the user to see what is proving popular and giving the chance to fine tune their output and hit the right people at the right time.
So, Facebook can be used as an extra weapon in the business battle, but in a different way. More social and personal, not just facts and figures. Start your page with a friendly update or two and gain some followers before going for the hard sell!